By Marlene S. Gaylinn

It was a typical New England afternoon. Ready-to-be carved pumpkins were resting on the town’s doorsteps, a cold wind blew colorful leaves to the ground while dark-grey clouds sprinkled just enough renegade snowflakes to warn us that Winter is fast approaching. The Ivoryton Playhouse was warm and inviting and its presentation of “The Rainmaker,” quickly transported us to a drought-driven Western town where everyone was looking up at the sky and hoping for rain. The clashes of climates, time periods and another reality of life was just what we were in the mood for.

It’s been a long time since we have been so emotionally involved and moved by a live performance. Everything contributed: the fine acting by a great cast, the directing, set design, lighting – even the Aaron Copeland background music was tastefully supplied.

Colin Lane, a previous CT Critics Circle nominee, takes full command of the Bill Starbuck role of “Rainmaker” and Elizabeth Erwin as the forlorn spinster, Lizzy, will jerk tears right out of you. Individually and as a couple, both actors give a very sensitive performance. The entire cast is also realistic and inspiring. It felt as if you were right there with your rural relatives – invisible witnesses to the magic taking place on stage.

During an election year and -- similarly threatened by a failing economy, a precarious environment, and alienated, young people striving for love and a secure place in society, we can certainly sympathize with the need for life-changing miracles -- which this play happily provides.

The Rainmaker is very appropriate for families with school age children. Marlene S. Gaylinn is a freelance theatre critic. She writes “Theatre Highlights” for “CT County Kids” and other periodicals.

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